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General System Functions

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Order Entry
The Info.Net order management module is a full CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that controls all sales contact, lead, quote, order processing, shipping, inquiry and reporting functions.

This listing describes the processes in this module.
- Order Management Parameter Definition
- Discounting/Terms Control
- Sales Item Pricing
- Maintaining Sales Representative Information
- Maintaining Customer Information
- Adding Sales Contact Sessions
- Adding and Maintaining Sales Orders
- Defining Return Material Authorizations (RMAs)
- Defining Leases / Consignments / Loans
- Defining Sales Leads
- Accounts Receivable Module Interface
- Tax/VAT Calculations
- Order Entry Configurator
- Sales Kits
- Sales Item Associations
- Credit Checking
- Credit Cards
- Currency Control
- Drop Shipments
- Forecasting
- Order Entry Work Bench
- Sales / A/R Analysis

Whitepapers covering these subjects are listed at the bottom of this page.
Placing your cursor over any of the features listed below, will give you more information about the subject.

Lead / Quote / Sales Order Add / EditFrom the order menu, the user has the ability, given the proper level of security, to add or edit sales leads, sales quotations or sales orders – or to roll sales leads into sales quotations, or to roll sales quotations into sales orders.

In all cases, the original entry data will not be lost – only closed. The data will be retained until the user elects to purge the old data tables.

In the case of sales orders and sales quotations, changes to the entries will also (optionally) be tracked by user queryable edit transactions indicating both the old data and the new, edited entry.

Sales orders consist of a series of header data elements, any number of line items, and within each line item, any number of scheduled deliveries. A sales proposal/quote contains the same data elements as in a sales order but is not shippable.

The sales order header data includes a ship-to and bill-to customer definition, any number of sales representative definitions, terms, various class codes, a currency code, remarks of any length and other data.

A sales order or proposal/quote line item can be a part number, a user configured assembly, a sales kit, a non-inventory miscellaneous item, warranty or freight. Each of these items can be assigned their own unit of measure as well as several pricing elements including any number of promotional discounts.

Customer Priority / Service Level DefinitionsIn order to provide additional visibility during the order entry, accounts receivable billing and / or customer service processes, customers can be assigned a numeric service level in a customer service level edit routine, which will be presented during each of the above procedures.

Although the service level will not have an effect on the data editing, its display can be of use in the priorities employed during the order entry, accounts receivable and customer service procedures.

Multi Level Sales ForecastingThere are five sequential levels of forecasts available, although the forecasting process can be initiated at any of the five levels noted below. The levels in increasing order of detail are:

· Forecasting by product classes
· Forecasting by sales representatives
· Forecasting by sales territories
· Forecasting by sales regions
· Forecasting by part number with optional ship-to customer designations

Within each of these five areas, any number of forecasts can be created, each of which will be addressed by a user defined forecast code.

The initial four types of forecasts can only be expressed in terms of value (dollars).

The part number forecast can only be defined in terms of units, but these units will be extended into a value through the use of the item list price.

In addition, the part number forecast also provides confidence factors that can be used to indicate a level of confidence in achieving the forecast projections.

Line Item (Attribute) SpecificationsWhen selling items that require specific specifications (referred to as attributes in the Info.Net documentation) such as color, dimensional limits, chemical levels, etc, any number of these types of previously defined specifications) can be defined as additional requirements for the items being sold. Every inventory item can be assigned any number of attributes, each of which can be defined by limits or by specific values.

When defining a quote/sales order, the user can specify the limits or specific value for each of the order's item’s attributes, and when the units are shipped, the system will ensure that the shipped units meet the order’s requirements.

Line Item Document AssignmentsIn both the order entry data and in the purchasing data, the user will have the ability to assign documents to individual sales and purchase order line items.

These document codes, having been previously defined in the document system may refer to multiple individual documents, and the documents themselves might consist of graphics, videos, web sites or a number of other types of objects, as well as pure text.

Auto DistributionIn a distribution environment, if the user is acting as a pure distributor and is not stocking material, it is possible to create a paperless distribution environment.

In this case any sales order item will automatically generate a drop ship purchase order to a vendor. The vendors can access the purchase orders via the vendor workbench with their own login and password.

Consigned / Loaned MaterialAs consigned or loaned inventory remains the property of the user, a consignment or loan type of sales order appears as a normal sales order but the delivery data has an additional quantity that defines the number of units that are in the consigned or loaned state.

The actual financial shipment of the units is not consummated until the material leaves the consigned or loaned state and becomes the property of the customer.

Mandatory / Suggested / Substitute Sales Item AssociationsDefinitions of sales item associations will permit the order entry programs to either suggest or require the ordering of additional items that the user has indicated are associated with one or more of a sales order’s items. The sales order association data can also be used to suggest and authorize substitute items during sales order shipping transactions.

Sales kitsSales Kits are a collection of loose parts that are sold under a kit part number but are held individually in the inventory and are transacted as individual part numbers. Sales kits must be predefined but will then be available for entry into sales orders and for shipment through the normal sales order transactions system. The transaction of a sales kit will consist of automatic individual transactions for each of the sales kit components.

Web Based Order EntryA sales order entry routine that is prefaced by a customer definition based on the customer’s email address is available. The user data will be converted into a ship-to customer record that can include the user’s (encrypted) credit card and password information.

The sales order entry is based on a search of the user’s catalog of products and a shopping cart concept.The actual presentation of the sales order data entry and catalog displays are available for customization.

Product Catalog DefinitionsThe system provides a backbone for a catalog structure by presenting a potential E-commerce buyer with a descriptive list of product classes, or codes, and a search engine to locate various saleable items. The search routine will be able to locate items based on the following data:

· Marketing product code and / or the marketing product description
· Item aliases and / or their descriptions
· Item attributes and / or their descriptions
· Item authorized vendors and / or the vendor's name
· Item's vendor part number and / or the vendor's part number description
· Item's manufacturer and / or the manufacturer's name
· Item's manufacturer part number and / or the manufacturer's part number description

Following a successful search, any documents that have been assigned to the item, including pictures, videos, audio, text and/or web pages can be presented to the customer.

Miscellaneous Sales ChargesIn addition to inventory items, the user may also use freight codes, warranty codes or miscellaneous charges as line items in a sales order. The system will ensure that the line item entries must be unique.

If a freight, warranty or miscellaneous line item is used in a sales order, the shipping routine will enable the user to transact the freight or miscellaneous charge, but of course, no inventory update will occur - however all of the other system tables will be updated, including the accounts receivable system if automatic invoicing is in use.

Subcontracted Labor or Equipment TimeLabor in the form of resource classes can be listed as a line item in a sales order when the user is providing subcontract labor as a saleable item. The resources class definitions include employees and equipment, and provide a default selling price (typically per hour) and a standard cost for margin analysis.

The shipping transaction routines have the ability to transact resource class units (hours) against a sales order without using the inventory control system, but still maintaining the full accounting system.

Lease Order ControlLeases are handled in a similar manner to consignment or loan sales orders with two major differences.

The charges for a lease would normally be handled through the recurring invoice system which can specify a period based charge, interest charges, and an ending balloon payment if required.

The second difference, is that leased items (i.e. part numbers) must be under serial number control.

As in the consignment / load routines, the final resolution of the lease would be handled in a special transaction routine which will either return the leased unit to inventory or transfer ownership to the customer through a financial shipping transaction.

Order Entry Option / Feature ConfiguratorSpecial sales order configurations can be created either prior to an actual sales order creation or as part of a sales order creation. The configuration consists of an assembly of predefined part number options. As an example, a feature of ‘Motors’ with one or more types of motors defined as ‘options’.

Each unique configuration assigned to sales orders will be maintained as history.

Promotion Pricing / AnalysisAny number of date effective promotions can be defined that will provide either a discount percentage or a discount amount for a specific inventory item, a product class, a ship-to customer or a customer class.

If the sales entry routines find that a promotion is effective and applies to the item being entered on the sales order, the promotion discount will be applied to the calculated price.

There is no limit on the number of promotions that could be applied to a specific sales order item.A promotion analysis is available that will examine the margin and gross sales generated by orders that contain a user specified promotion.

Sales Order Release Definitions and Transaction ControlRather than basing sales order shipments purely on user defined schedule dates, release codes can be assigned to direct material sales orders with specific schedule dates. A release code will tie any number of sales order line items together into a single group, or may tie line items in multiple sales orders together (assuming the sales orders are assigned to the same customer).

The entering of release type sales orders is controlled by the use of a ‘Release’ type of sales order class code. When defining a sales order in the program with a ‘release’ type of sales order class code, the program’s line item entry form will be revised to permit the entry of an (optional) release code on each scheduled delivery.

Marketing / Sales Contact Control and TrackingTo track outside marketing and sales contacts, including customers, manufacturers, or any type of external contact, the contact system will provide a descriptive database of the contacts and contact sessions.

Return Material (RMA) DefinitionsRMAs can be created to account for repairs, credit, replacements, and several other categories of returns. The RMA will, optionally, reference the original sales order and both the return from the customer and the possible return of the material to the customer can be scheduled.

The RMA is interfaced to accounts receivable and to the warranty system to calculate possible customer charges.

Returned material that is owned by a customer is held in inventory or in production at zero cost and reworked material and labor costs will be tracked against the originating RMA.

Marketing Region / Territory DefinitionsINFO.NET provides a three tiered sales representative / territory / region structure. The three parts of this structure are listed below, from the broadest to the most specific.
· Sales region
· Sales territory
· Sales representative (And a specific representative can be defined as reporting to another sales representative.

Each sales region is comprised of any number of sales territories. In turn, each sales territory can have any number of sales representatives assigned to it. The sales representative / territory structure is required for sales order processing and customer invoicing. If you use this structure you will be able to obtain sales history data organized by region / territory / salesman.

Sales and accounts receivable analysis, including charting, are available for specific marketing regions or for specific sales representatives.

Credit / Debit Card ControlThe INFO.NET system has the ability to record and use credit cards (and/or cash prepayments) during the sales order entry process. It can also handle the credit card charges in the accounts receivable system

The system will use the Internet credit card service of the user’s choosing to authorize incoming credit card references and will hold the order until authorization is received.

A shipment under credit card control will generate an invoice, but unlike the normal invoiced shipments, the credit card shipment will also generate a full payment for the invoice. The result of the shipping transaction will be a relieved sales order; a decremented inventory, a zero value invoice and a cash receipt entry for the full shipment value.

Multiple Currency Definition and ControlThe INFO.NET system provides for multiple currencies in both the accounts payable and in the accounts receivable.

The system will maintain a history of conversion rates from a user’s home currency to any other defined currency. Each rate entry will include the time and date of the entry, the date on which the rate became effective, the user login id making the entry and the conversion rate from the home entity currency to the currency being defined.

Every bill-to customer and remit vendor will have their currency identified and both the sales order and purchase order systems will include the currency code as a part of the sales order or purchase data. This currency identifier will be rolled into both the accounts payable vouchers and the accounts receivable invoices for use in external documents.

A gain / loss account is available to record the gain or loss due to currency changes between original data entry and final payment or cash receipt.




 
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